FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Tell a friend that you are going to dine at Partingtons and be prepared to be greeted with sighs of envy. Walk through the curtain-draped entrance and it is easy to see why.
Consistent with the aesthetics of the Langham Hotel, the restaurant’s rich European décor – complete with elaborate framed mirrors, a grand chandelier and designer tableware – epitomises the luxurious elegance that the historical hotel brand stands for. Well-lit and cosy, it makes a charming venue for either a romantic evening or business meeting. The fine-dining restaurant has just won the New Zealand Restaurant of the Year Award and features modern European-inspired cuisine combined with fresh New Zealand flavours.
FOOD: Thanks to the Maori-Asian affinity to Pacific herbs and spices, the dishes were distinctly refreshing, in contrast to your typical French fare rich in cream sauce and butter, which tends to be too heavy for the less lactose-tolerant Asian palate.
For first-time visitors who have no clue of where to begin from the extensive menu, the nine-course degustation menu offers a sumptuous selection presented in exquisite portions. Opt for the wine matches and have a little fun guessing which wine is paired with each dish. The entrée, scampi and sole ravioli with creamed asparagus shoots and crayfish-infused chervil foam, were my personal favourites.
DRINKS: A wide selection of international champagnes and wines, featuring wines from Auckland and Northland, Giborne, Hawke’s Bay, Malborough, Central Otago, Canterbury and Waipara.
SERVICE: Friendly and impeccable service from an international team hailing from France, Italy, Germany, Austria and more.
PRICE: NZ$120 (US$88.80) per person for the degustation menu, and an additional NZ$80 (US$59) per person for matching wines.
VERDICT: It has to be part of your itinerary in Auckland.
Wong Yee Fong